Not so much that I recall. Republicans were not so willing to go a 3rd party route or to take over the republican party.
That came about with the tea party.
Through McCain’s time, as with others, I jumped on board because of Sarah Palin and fought to the bitter end, cringing at McCain’s unwillingness to fight and his willingness to be stupid, as with the sky-is-falling financial “crisis”.
It was right afterwards that I left the republicans.